Article

Jon Clarke
Jon Clarke 25 January 2019
Categories Affiliate Marketing, B2B

Help Drive your Business to New Heights with New Marketing Thinking

As marketers we’re always on the lookout for ways in which to transform and develop our business. The trend that’s going to help differentiate us and give us that competitive edge, while making sure the marketing function is both front and centre and contributing to the bottom line. For the most part, however, when that new thing comes around, we may hesitate in taking the leap of faith to implement it. It’s not surprising. Change is hard and fear of failure (especially in business) can be crippling.

But we need to change because the market itself has changed. Customers and their buying journeys are no longer the same as they once were — driven by new market entrants, new technology, use of the internet, and shifts in legislation. The days of mass marketing being effective have come and are long gone.

And yet we keep doing the same things, expecting different results.

Different actions. Different results.

In the rapidly evolving B2B market, buyers are increasingly smarter and more empowered than ever before. They’re not just relying on more traditional and linear methods to engage with prospective customers, such as brochures, sales calls and company websites, to make their buying decisions. They’re talking to their peers on social media (LinkedIn, Twitter, even Facebook), and they have a wide choice of video, reviews and blog content across a multitude of online media and forums to help guide their knowledge building.

As a result, identifying prospective B2B customers, who are searching for your specific proposition, has become much harder. Throw in the challenges around data, compliance and adhering to privacy regulations, such as GDPR, and it’s a huge challenge for marketers.

Account-based marketing (ABM) is a powerful method to help marketers to draw together all the outbound and inbound touches with a target customer in a co-ordinated plan. The key ingredient for ABM success is the rich data insight, which will identify the critical 2% to 5% of customer prospects who are actively seeking your value proposition. The question is how?

It’s about understanding customer behaviour

By applying a behaviour-based approach to ABM, making it stronger and driving it (and lead generation) forward. Behaviour-based marketing is a qualitative approach based on insights, fuelled by buying intent that transforms the quality of leads generated by marketing.

Behaviour-based marketing is so effective because it is able to accurately spot and take action on elusive intent-to-buy signals demonstrated by the active 2% to 5% of your audience. This approach enables you to target the active audience with accuracy and create hyper-relevant messaging to the right person…in real time.

Target your prospects where they are

Here’s how it works: you can use insights from combining and analysing a number of data sources to fully understand where your prospects are in the buying cycle. This behaviour insight is generated from all online activities and signals, from what prospective customers are looking for, what they’re looking at, to who they’re talking to about it. You can study the behaviour insight in real time and identify which of your prospects is in active buying mode. The result? You can target them more precisely, with content and messages tailored specifically to them and their stage in the buying journey. In a nutshell, behaviour-based marketing enables you to target audiences at the right time, at the right place and with the right message. The holy trinity of content marketing.

Making ABM better

When you apply behaviour-based insights to strengthen ABM, you can focus your resources more effectively. Why is this important? Because in most traditional marketing campaigns sales conversions are less than 1%. However, in the right combination, based on the success of organisations who’ve successfully implemented behaviour-based insight to underpin ABM, you could realise a 300% uplift in high-quality leads; and using 66% less budget and resources to generate those leads.Sounds good, doesn’t it? But where do you start?

Take a layered approach

By taking a tiered approach to identifying the 2% to 5% active prospect customers within your  total addressable market you can allocate the marketing and sales resources to those audiences that are most likely to engage with your business.

Optimise your efforts

Use a behaviour-based insight approach to learn where to place the most effort, where to cut ineffective activity, and how to identify those most likely to buy within a shorter lead-time window.

Recognise your buyers

Build a deeper understanding of your customers by researching and mapping the actions and behaviours of the entire decision-making unit for each customer. In turn this helps you build out a plan to engage with the personas within the DMU with relevant topics, using context, timing and relevance.

Going forward

Ultimately, behaviour-based marketing enables you to be successful with ABM and deliver an increase in leads and business results. You can identify B2B customer prospects who are in buying mode and focus on them entirely to enhance your return on marketing investment and optimise your cost per acquisition (CPA). And with precise targeting, you can deliver highly-personalised content that creates maximum engagement. Finally, with behaviour-based insight you can engage earlier in the customer's buying process which will put your ABM results on a higher performance curve. 

The benefits of behaviour-based marketing and ABM are available to you now, along with the people who have the knowledge and expertise to help you with that step-change in performance.

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